#My52 “Captive Heart, Part IV”

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#My52 – Week 18

Word Prompt – draft

Word Count – 1174

Reading Time – 6 mins, 28 secs

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“What?”

“You heard me. Yvonne’s pregnant.”

Prentiss scrubbed his hand across his stubbled jaw then gulped his draft beer.

“Not what I was expecting for dinner conversation.”

“And not what I had planned.”

“Uh, what? Just when did you find out? What had you planned to talk about?”

Mark Kelly folded his arms and leaned on the table.

“To answer your first question, thirty minutes ago. And the second, I have the next five days free and wanted to know if you could get the time off too and drive up to Fresno with me.”

“Whoa, whoa! Back up. You found out thirty minutes ago?”

Mark hung his head and took a deep breath before answering.

“After we confirmed dinner, I went home to change. Yvonne was waiting for me.”

Prentiss signaled their server for another round.

His brother frowned.

“Slow down, man. We’re both driving.”

“I know, I know.” He emptied his glass and set it aside. “I’m just trying to wrap my head around this… this ambush by your girlfriend. Besides. Uber is just a phone call away.”

“Yeah, ambush is a good way to describe it, but she’s not my girlfriend.”

“Please. Since when?”

“We argued close to a month ago.” He averted his eyes. “Haven’t talked since.”

“And you didn’t think to share this tidbit with your brother?” He threw his hands up in the air just as the server arrived with fresh drinks. He took a large gulp.

“Damn, man. I’m gonna be drunk on my ass at this rate.” He reached for the glass again, but Mark pushed it out of his reach.

“How about we order some dinner before you finish that? You need to eat something.”

Annoyed, Prentiss sat back in his seat. “No, what I need is to understand why my brother’s life is going to hell quick, fast, and in a hurry.”

“You and me both.”

Mark opened his menu, pretending to be engrossed in his meal options.

Watching his brother, Prentiss smirked. “This reminds of the time you cracked my skateboard and hid it until you worked up the nerve to tell me.”

He sobered when Mark lowered the menu and he sawed his pained expression.

“Talk to me, man. You look like something’s eating you from the inside.”

Dropping his menu on the table, Mark emptied his first Seven & Seven before reaching for the fresh one.

“That’s just anger, man.”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“Well, Yvonne didn’t show up with smiles or the glow of impending motherhood. She was livid, full of attitude, and told me I was going to marry her.”

Prentiss’ mouth gaped open as he fell back in his chair.

 

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me, Mark. I’m pregnant and we’re getting married.”

“No. We’re not.”

“Yes, we-”

He cut her off. “Just a few ago, if you’d told me you’re pregnant, I would have been on my knees begging you to marry me. Those days are gone.”

“If you think I’m going to be some single mother worn to a frazzle trying to raise a kid on my own, you’re-”

“I will provide for my child. That goes without saying. But I don’t have to marry you to do that.”

“We’re a package deal, Kelly, you don’t get to be a daddy without me.”

“A package deal? You sound like a used car salesman.”

“Save the jokes, Mark, this is serious. My parents are arranging for a small ceremony, and-”

He snapped. “What the hell?”

“Don’t you yell-”

“We broke up three weeks ago… over money and-”

“We did not break up.”

He raised his hand and pointed at her.

“You said if I didn’t transfer the money to pay back your dad not to bother calling you again.”

“Oh, I knew you were just all in your male feelings. Men are such big babies, but I have no more time for that bullshit when I’m having a real baby. We have to get married.”

He dropped his arms to his sides but his clenched fists proved the rage he tried to contain.

“Again, you sound like a used car salesman trying to sell a car to an idiot.”

“Now look-”

“No highlighting the amenities… we’re going to be parents; we’ll have our own little family; no ‘I love you, Mark.’” He gestured toward her. “You haven’t even told me how far along you are.”

“Oh, my God. You sound like a starry-eyed girl. I peed on a stick, big whoop. Men don’t care about the details-”

“Some men don’t. But I do and the fact you don’t know that means you don’t know me and I’ve wasted four years of my life with you.”

“Now I’m a waste of time? Seriously, Mark, how could you be so heartless and cruel?” Yvonne turned away.

“I guess the last four years weren’t a complete loss, I learned heartless and cruel from the best… and don’t even think about turning on the waterworks.”

She whirled around to face him. “Feel better, Mark? Are you over your little show of bravado, because we are getting married.”

A wave of sadness washed over him taking the remnants of their future with it. For twenty years, she was all he ever wanted. Now he understood. His brother was right. He was fascinated… and obsessed with what Yvonne represented. His dream girl.

“Earlier today, I thought about us and thought perhaps I’d been too hard on you. Maybe I hadn’t sacrificed enough for the woman I loved.”

Her face brightened.

He backed up toward his condo. “But that was just longing for something I’ve never had with you, a healthy, loving relationship.”

“Don’t you walk away from-”

“I have to meet someone and I’m running late-”

“Mark, don’t you-”

“… and then I’ll be out-of-town for a few days.”

“I’m warning you-”

“You’re going to make a doctor’s appointment for a real pregnancy test and text me the details. I’ll meet you there.”

“This is all just a waste of time when we should talk to my parents about the wedding.”

“No.”

“Why are you being like this? We should be making plans for the future.”

“That’s what I’m doing, Yvonne because regardless of the tests, we’re never getting married.”

 

When he didn’t continue, Prentiss let out a long, low whistle.

“Don’t stop there. What happened? What did she say?”

Mark cringed. “Not sure. I walked away. But, it involved a lot of yelling and swearing. I went inside, washed up, shook out my dreads, and found a clean shirt. When I came back out, she was gone.”

“Damn, bro. What are you going to do?”

“My plans haven’t changed. I’m going to Fresno and I’d like to have my brother along for the ride to sing 90s songs loud and off-key.”

Prentiss chuckled.

“Yvonne told her parents about the baby and got them involved before she told me. Time to get our parents involved. You in?”

Prentiss’ lips twitched into a smug grin. “Sounds like a road trip to me, little brother.”

********

Mark and Yvonne had their face-time and it didn’t go well. He stood his ground but Yvonne always gets her way.

To be continued…

 

Part IPart II   |  Part III  |

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©2019 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “How Can I Ease the Pain” – Lisa Fischer

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “Hurt/Pain/Agony/Suffer.”

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I used this song on my Nesie’s Place blog in August of last year for the theme fear. However, it struck me as even more in-line with this week’s theme.

The name Lisa Fischer may not be familiar to most but her voice has been a part of popular music for close to forty years.

Lisa was a session and back-up singer for music greats like Roberta Flack, Melba Moore, Teddy Pendergrass, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, Nine Inch Nails, and Sting. She sang back-up for Luther Vandross from 1983 until his death in 2005, and during the same period, Lisa toured internationally with The Rolling Stones (1989-2015).

It was during this time, Lisa released her only solo album, So Intense, which produced the 1991 chart-topping single, How Can I Ease the Pain.

Produced by Narada Michael Walden and Louis Biancaniello, the song spent two weeks at number-one on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. In 1992, How Can I Ease the Pain won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single, Female and the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Fischer continues to tour and perform in pop, jazz and classical music, and along with her trio band, Grand Baton, partnered with The Seattle Symphony for a new musical program entitled Just A Kiss Away in February 2018 in which rock music anthems such as The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter were recreated orchestrally.

How Can I Ease the Pain is about falling in love with a player and user and she doesn’t only fear that he’ll never stop coming around, she fears herself for not being able to turn him away.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

How Can I Ease the Pain

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.

#My52 “Captive Heart, Part III”

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#My52 – Week 17

Word Prompt – fatigue

Word Count – 1781

Reading Time – 7 mins, 08 secs

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“Hey, Mark? Mind if I take an extended break? Bout an hour?”

Looking up from the testing console, Mark grinned.

“Hold your horses, Dale. I’ll call for lunch in an hour.”

“And I plan to be here to eat it.”

“So, what do you need an hour break for?”

“I wanna to go down to Russo Construction and Meacham Contractors and punch the shit of the son-of-a-bitch who thought this was proper wiring.”

He yanked part of the melted generator from its housing frame and plopped it onto the workbench. “That’s damn near criminal.”

Mark snickered.

“Calm down, man. You’d only find empty buildings. They ceased operations and locked their doors ahead of the court filings.”

“Well, damn. I was looking forward to knocking some heads.”

“Chill, Dale, chill. It’ll all get sorted and we will be well paid for fixing the mistakes of idiots.”

His crew foreman didn’t respond and Mark glanced in his direction.

“Dale?”

“Dammit it all to hell!” He kicked the workbench.

“No, no, no! Do not give me any more bad news, man.”

“Sorry, chief, but this shit is shot. It’s nothing more than an expensive doorstop now.”

“Damn. Every time I give Bailey a damage report, the total climbs higher.”

“Not our fault. We don’t have bullshit for brains.”

Mark chuckled as Dale considered the damaged generator.

“What is it?”

“Nothing, nothing. It just reminded me of a rack of lamb my wife made once. Dry and crusty on the outside dry and crusty on the inside. It was like eating ashes covered in mint jelly.”

Turning his head, Mark covered his mouth to hide his grin.

“I don’t care if you laugh. I survived. Just like I survived the boiled brisket, under-cooked fried chicken, overcooked flounder, and tostadas served on homemade tortillas hard enough to be used in an Olympic discus throw.”

Dropping his arms to his sides, Mark bellowed with laughter. “No disrespect, Dale, but sounds like your wife’s cooking skills are lacking.”

Dale smirked. “Aren’t you kind?” “Sounds like your wife’s cooking skills are lacking,” he mimicked. “My Susan is a horrible cook and all the recipes, online videos and cooking classes have been no help.”

“What do you do? Eat before you go home? Hide food in the garage?”

Dale’s face fell. “I eat every bite.”

“I don’t get it. If the food is that bad, why would-”

“Every single meal my Susan makes for me takes great effort on her part and is done out of love.” He laid his hand over his heart.

“I’m lost, man, and wasn’t trying to be mean-”

“She taught math at Cal State for fourteen years. Her cooking wasn’t a big deal in those days. She was busy, I was busy, the boys had lots of activities in and out of school, so we ate a lot of takeout. Both our moms were still living, and they always kept a casserole in the freezer for us.”

His demeanor changed and Mark could see the sadness in his eyes from across the room.

“Then my Susan got hit with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What a nightmare. Doctors, misdiagnoses, medication… it was too much for her and sent her into severe depression. She had to quit teaching, and withdrew from life, including the boys and me. And if that wasn’t enough to make us all loony, we lost both our moms during that time, within a year of each other. And I thought I would lose her too.”

“Dale, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get in your business or dredge-”

“But we found a doctor up in Pasadena who gave us the right diagnosis and understood CFS. There’s no cure, but new medications and therapies, and a wealth of information made a big difference in Susan’s health. It’s been nine years and we manage. Some days she can barely hold her head up and other days I get home and find her gardening.”

“You have nothing to apologize for, dude. This is life… our lives.”

“You speak in plural…’we’…’our’…”

“Hell yes, I do! Her fight is my fight. We’re in this together.”

He approached his supervisor.

“I can’t feel her pain. I can’t take away her fatigue. But, I took vows “for better or for worse, through sickness and in health” to be at her side.”

“Too many don’t take those words to heart… or say them from the heart. They’re caught up in the feel-good moment of getting married and looking forward to the honeymoon. They haven’t been tested, and not everyone will pass.”

“I worked with this guy years back, Gill Fonner, who divorced his wife of seventeen years because she lost her breasts to cancer. You hear me? She had pieces of her body cut away so she could continue living… and he bailed. Said it was too much for him to deal with.”

“Another idiot, Sid Broome, had only been married four years when his wife had a massive stroke at thirty-six. She couldn’t speak or walk. He left.”

“Damn.”

“I know, right? But this story has a happy ending. She spent her forty-first birthday in a bikini on a beach in Cancun… with her new husband. She married one of the doctors who consulted on her case. Even at her worst, unable to do anything for herself, he saw her beautiful soul and stayed by her side.”

“What happened to Sid?”

“Miserable bastard lives down in San Pedro, working around the docks and drinking too much to numb his regrets.”

“He got exactly what he deserves.”

“No, he and Gill both deserve an ass-kicking. I tried to tell them both that marriage doesn’t work that way. Real love takes real sacrifice. You can’t have one without the other. You don’t get to walk away when it gets hard. That’s when you’re tested. That’s when you find out what kind of human being you are. And they suck.”

“Agreed. Now I want to beat the crap out of them.”

Dale chuckled.

“I started all this to say I know what Susan’s been through and how far she’s come. I sat her down one day and told her she didn’t have to cook or clean a thing. The boys and I would do more, and if needed, I’d hire someone to come in two or three times a week.”

“You’re a good husband, Dale.”

“Yeah? I regret ever bringing it up. I hurt my wife that day.”

“What do you mean?”

“She’d lost her good health, career, professional contacts and even her friends stopped coming around because they didn’t understand why Susan was always so tired or always in bed. I’m not angry, though. In the beginning, we didn’t understand either. But by offering to do more and hire help, I was taking away her family… saying she was useless.” He hung his head. “She cried for so long it scared me. I got down on my knees and begged her to forgive me.”

“Of course, she did, because she loves me as much as I love her. So, yes, I sit down to meals I sometimes cannot identify, but there’s no way I’ll ever criticize or refuse any of them.”

Mark could only smile and shake his head, the lump in his throat making speech difficult.

“What?”

He cleared his throat. “That’s the kind of love my parents share… and the kind that eludes my brother and me.”

“Trust it will come and be patient. I was thirty when I met Susan.”

“If you say so, man.”

“I do, and I also say we need to end this Hallmark movie. I’m feeling way too sensitive.” He shuddered. “Sure I can’t find one of those lame assholes and beat the shit of them?”

“And Dale’s back!”

They shared a chuckle.

“Hey, how does Susan put up with your potty-mouth?”

“Potty-mouth?” Are we twelve? I swear, cuss and have been known to pitch a bitch, but never around my wife. That would be disrespectful.”

Mark’s eyes widened. “But you come to work and subject us to it?”

“You’re a guy. Get over it.”

“Hello? We work with women.”

“And have you heard what comes out of Trina’s mouth? She makes me blush.”

Dale cackled to himself as he worked a chisel around the housing frame.

Mark grabbed his cell and updated Bailey by text.

While he waited for a response, Dale’s words weighed on his mind.

Real love takes real sacrifice. You can’t have one without the other.

Had he sacrificed enough for Yvonne?

It had been three weeks since he closed his condo door in her face, but she still invaded his thoughts.

He hadn’t reached out but neither had she, and she was the one who issued the ultimatum.

Still, the icy fingers of guilt crept up the back of his neck.

Have I put money and material things ahead of our relationship?

He shook his head to clear his thoughts.

Yvonne never asked me for anything. I offered.

Stop being a schmuck.

He frowned, glancing to his left and right. Dale was across the room and the rest of his crew was one level down.

What has Yvonne ever done for you? Name one thing she’s done from her heart. Better still name one time she’s told you she loves you and it wasn’t in a sing-songy voice like she was talking to a pet.

Bowing his head, Mark rubbed his eyes.

He was losing his mind.

Not only was he getting a smack-down by his subconscious… it was right.

#

Intending to run in and change, Mark parked in the guest lot of his condo instead of underground.

Bailey said things were beyond ugly with the contractors and told Mark to lock the site down and give his crew the rest of the week off at straight pay.

He hadn’t had five straight days off since the holidays and sent a text to his brother inviting him to dinner.

Mark hoped Prentiss could get the time off too and ride with him up to Fresno to see their parents.

He stopped and emptied his mailbox then took the walkway to his place.

“Mark?”

Looking over his shoulder, he saw Yvonne standing under a tree in the courtyard. His chest tightened.

She was breath-taking in a burgundy and crème jumpsuit that hugged her full hips. Her hair fell in tiny ringlets around her face, but the hard expression she wore ruined the vision and sent him into defensive mode.

“What are you doing here, Yvonne?”

“We need to talk about us.”

“I don’t want to rehash this-“

“I don’t give a damn what you want. I’m pregnant and you’re going to marry me.”

********

Mark was just getting used to being single, now he and Yvonne are going to be parents. His dream girl is becoming a nightmare. Still, he wonders if marriage would be what they need to stabilize their lives.

To be continued…

 

Part IPart II   |

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©2019 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Blame It On the Boogie” – The Jacksons

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “Boogie/Rock/Rolling Stone.”

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English singer/songwriter Mick Jackson recorded Blame It On the Boogie in 1977, however, the song was  written originally in hopes of being sold to Stevie Wonder.

The Mick Jackson track was showcased in 1978 at Midem where according to Mick Jackson: “The Jacksons’ manager [Peter Kerstin] heard the track being played…and took a tape recording of it…back to the States [where] The Jacksons quickly recorded a version so it would be out before mine.” In fact, the Mick Jackson recording was released by Atlantic Records in the US also in August 1978.

Despite the Mick Jackson original reaching a #61 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1978, the Jacksons’ version of Blame It on the Boogie, released as the advance single from the Destiny album, returned the Jacksons to the Hot 100 after five flop singles, and reached #3 on the R&B chart. The song would be coupled with Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) on an extended club play single and would reach #20 on the dance charts in 1979.

The UK music press, struck by the rival versions being by similarly named artists, (Mick’s legal name is Michael George Jackson vs. American Michael Joseph Jackson… who had yet to become a break-out solo star at the time) declared a “Battle of the Boogie” which Mick Jackson recalls as “great publicity…There was an equal balance of interest from the media about both releases – A good example is that my version came out first on Top of the Pops… The Jackson’s [sic] had the second week…Radio One played The Jackson’s [sic] version and Capital Radio only played mine – It was fair.”

FUN FACTS:

  • The Jacksons’ version was the more successful version reaching Number 8 on the chart dated 4 November 1978; the Mick Jackson version had peaked at Number 15 on the chart for 21 October.
  • Mick Jackson himself in 2003 said of the Jacksons’ version of Blame It on the Boogie: “[the original] version had 100% of our heart and soul in it but the Jacksons’ version had the magic extra 2% that made it incredible.”
  • A promotional music video by the Jacksons was created for “Blame It on the Boogie” in 1978. The video, featuring the group’s members dancing on a black background, relied heavily on electronic trail effects, created at Image West, Ltd. using then-cutting edge equipment. The video also appears on the bonus disc of the DVD box set Michael Jackson’s Vision.

I also posted Mick Jackson’s version for a double-play this week! 😀

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
 Blame It One the Boogie
by The Jacksons
Songwriters:
[Verse 1 – Michael Jackson]
My baby’s always dancin’ and it wouldn’t be a bad thing
But I don’t get no lovin’ and that’s no lie
We spent the night in Frisco at every kinda disco
From that night I kissed our love goodbye[Hook – The Jacksons] (x2)
Don’t blame it on the sunshine
Don’t blame it on the moonlight
Don’t blame it on the good times
Blame it on the boogie[Verse 2 – Michael Jackson]
That nasty boogie bugs me
But somehow how it has drugged me
Spellbound rhythm gets me on my feet
I’ve changed my life completely
I’ve seen the lightning leave me
And my baby just can’t take her eyes off me[Hook – The Jacksons] (x2)
Don’t blame it on the sunshine
Don’t blame it on the moonlight
Don’t blame it on the good times
Blame it on the boogie

[Break 1 – The Jacksons]
I just can’t, I just can’t
I just can’t control my feet
I just can’t, I just can’t (Yeah)
I just can’t (Woo) control my feet
I just can’t, I just can’t
I just can’t control my feet
I just can’t, I just can’t (Yeah)
I just can’t (Woo) control my feet

[Hook – The Jacksons] (x2)
Don’t blame it on the sunshine
Don’t blame it on the moonlight
Don’t blame it on the good times
Blame it on the boogie

[Verse 3 – Michael Jackson]
This magic music grooves me
That dirty rhythm fools me
The devil’s gotten to me through this dance
I’m full of funky fever
A fire burns inside me
Boogie’s got me in a super trance

[Hook – The Jacksons] (x2)
Don’t blame it on the sunshine
Don’t blame it on the moonlight
Don’t blame it on the good times
Blame it on the boogie

[Break – The Jacksons]
Ow (Sunshine)
Ooh (Moonlight)
Yeah (Good times)
Mmm (Boogie)

You just gotta (Sunshine)
Yeah (Moonlight)
(Good times)
Good times (Boogie)

Don’t you blame it (Sunshine)
You just gotta (Moonlight)
You just wanna (Good times)
Yeah, oh (Boogie)

Blame it on yourself (Sunshine)
Ain’t nobody’s fault (Moonlight)
But yours and that boogie (Good times)
All night long (Boogie)

Can’t stop that boogie (Sunshine)
Ain’t nobody’s fault (Moonlight)
But yours and that boogie (Good times)
Dancin’ all night long (Boogie)

Blame it on yourself (Sunshine)
Ain’t nobody’s fault (Moonlight)
But yours and that boogie (Good times)
All night long (Boogie)

Ow (Sunshine)
Ooh (Moonlight)
Yeah (Good times)
Mmm (Boogie)

You just gotta (Sunshine)
Yeah (Moonlight)
(Good times)
Good times (Boogie)

Don’t you blame it (Sunshine)
You just gotta (Moonlight)
You just wanna (Good times)
Yeah, oh (Boogie)

Blame it on yourself (Sunshine)
Ain’t nobody’s fault (Moonlight)
But yours and that boogie (Good times)
All night long (Boogie)

Can’t stop that boogie (Sunshine)
Ain’t nobody’s fault (Moonlight)
But yours and that boogie (Good times)
Dancin’ all night long (Boogie)

Blame it on yourself (Sunshine)
Ain’t nobody’s fault (Moonlight)
But yours and that boogie (Good times)
All night long (Boogie)

 

#My52 “Captive Heart, Part II”

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#My52 – Week 16

Word Prompt – deadbolt

Word Count – 1140

Reading Time – 4 mins, 49 secs

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“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Prentiss held his hands out, fingers splayed.

“Just that, man. You never say Yvonne made you dinner, or you had a nice time at a concert, or she surprised you with lunch. It’s always you paying for something… everything.”

Mark shoved his hands into his pockets. “She’s my girlfriend, and I’m the man who’s supposed to provide for all her needs.”

Prentiss stood and approached his brother. “I’m not saying you’re doing anything wrong, Markie.” He reached out and rested a hand on Mark’s shoulder. “I’m just asking what do you get in return? What does she provide for you? Relationships are a two-way street, not a one-way funnel.”

Mark eased the Tahoe forward in the slow-moving traffic.

Prentiss’ words stung as much now as they had last weekend.

And he still had no reply.

Mark couldn’t think of one thing Yvonne did for him. No dinners, no surprises. Sex had even become another tool in the arsenal she used to get her way.

To be fair, Mark never asked his girlfriend for anything, always telling her he only wanted to see her happy. Part of the blame lay with him.

His plan to discuss their relationship was derailed over the last week with Yvonne’s busy social calendar of events she never invited him to, saying he’d be bored.

Fresh anger flared in Mark’s chest but this time it was at himself.

I have to be the biggest idiot on the planet.

Traffic thinned after passing Glendale and Mark transitioned to the 5 Freeway and sped up.

#

Drunk with sleep, Mark raised his head from the pillow.

Silence.

He massaged his temple, convinced the pounding he heard was the migraine from earlier back to torment him.

Before he could close his eyes, the pounding returned.

It wasn’t in his head; it was his front door.

The bedside clock read eleven-forty, and he knew the only person at his door was the cause of his migraine.

Untangling his long legs from the sheets, Mark headed for the door, resigned. He’d known his decision to not return Yvonne’s calls would cost him.

Releasing the deadbolt, Mark turned the doorknob but before he could open the door, Yvonne barreled into the condo with such force, it threw him back against the foyer wall.

“Where the hell have you been all night? What haven’t you answered my calls?”

She strode past him into the living room rigid with rage.

Mark closed the door and followed. Stopping at the threshold, he folded his arms across his bare chest.

“I hope you’re happy, Mark Kelly. Tonight was important, and you ruined it. What have you to say for yourself?”

“First, please lower your voice. I have neighbors. And second, what the hell are you talking about?”

“Had you answered your damn phone, you’d know and we wouldn’t be here having this conversation.”

“My cell died before I left work,” the lie rolled easily off his tongue, “after a thirteen-hour day of trying to repair and replace another company’s shitty work. What did you call me about?”

She was incredulous. “I can’t believe you didn’t come right in and plug up your phone to hear your messages.”

“Did you miss the part about a thirteen-hour day? I came home, had a beer and a shower and went to bed.”

“Seriously? You didn’t think about me? Wonder what I was doing? If I was okay?”

The corner of his lips arched into a smirk that bled contempt.

“How often do you think of me, Yvonne… when you don’t want something?”

She fumed.

“How dare you? What are you saying, that I use you?”

Mark dropped his arms to his side.

“I’m saying you don’t hear from me all evening and you show up here in the middle of the night not worried if I’m okay but to tell me how I ruined your damn evening. Get over yourself, Yvonne.”

Stunned, she turned away. Seconds later she faced him again… with tears in her eyes. “I don’t understand, Mark. You said you loved me. You said you’d always support my dreams. Now you’re treating me like a gold digger.”

He was unmoved.

“What about my dreams?”

“I didn’t know you had any.”

“Exactly.”

Her face hardened.

“You’re mad at me for something I didn’t know? Something you never told me?”

“I’m not mad. And you don’t know because I’ve never told you. That’s on me. But you’ve also never asked.”

Yvonne wrung her hands. “Let’s stop this for now. My parents are staying another two days and I’m sure once you pay Daddy back, we can go out for a nice dinner or two, and then you and I can talk after they leave.”

His frown was so deep his thick eyebrows almost touched.

“Pay your dad back? What the hell for?”

“Well, for tonight… the champagne and appetizers from Toma’s and dinner at Luminaria’s.”

“You said I ruined your evening but sounds like you all made quite a night of it. Why do I owe your dad?”

“I told him you would reimburse him. I’m your girlfriend and your responsibility, not his.”

He staggered backward laughing. “So, I ruined your ‘celebration’ not because I wasn’t there to share your joy but because I wasn’t there to pay for it.”

Yvonne stomped her foot. “Don’t you start with the money-thing again.”

But Mark didn’t hear her… as he bent at the waist shaking with belly laughs.

Leaning against the door-frame, he tried to compose himself.

“Please give my best to your parents, and if you want to talk, we can… after they leave.”

“What do you mean after they leave, I’ve already planned-”

He cut her off. “I’ve got another thirteen-hour day ahead of me which means I need to sleep…” He gestured toward the front door.

“You’re not serious.”

“Please go, Yvonne. Now.”

“And my dad’s money?”

He moved to the front door. “You and your parents had a lovely evening. End of story. I don’t owe your father a damn thing.”

She approached him; her words measured by her steps. “Think about this, Mark. You’re taking us to a place we can’t come back from.”

He opened the door. “Goodnight, Yvonne.”

She stood in the doorway and glared at him. “If there isn’t a bank transfer from you for $847 when I get home, don’t bother calling me again.”

Prentiss Kelly’s ATM remark jumped to the front of Mark’s mind.

“There won’t be a transfer, Yvonne, and be careful what you speak up.”

He moved to close the door, but she threw her hand up, holding it open. “You’ll regret this, Mark. I promise you.”

“I have regrets, Yvonne… but not about this.”

Mark closed the door and returned to bed, asleep again within minutes, his mind clear.

********

Prentiss Kelly had tried to remind his brother Yvonne was one of the mean girls back in school and she hasn’t changed. Mark blew him off but is about to find out just how mean Yvonne Bellgoode can be.

To be continued…

 

Part I  |

~~~

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©2019 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Theme from A Summer Place” – Percy Faith & his Orchestra

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “Seasons/Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall.”

 ~~~~~

Let me tell you a story. 😀

The Theme from A Summer Place is from the 1959 movie of the same name starring Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. Based on the book, also of the same name, the movie is about teenage lovers from different social classes who get back together twenty years later, and then must deal with the passionate love affair of their own teenage children by previous marriages. It wasn’t a blockbuster or award winner, and unless you were Dee, Donahue, or McGuire fans, the movie was pretty forgettable.

Though Mack Discant penned lyrics to Max Steiner’s musical score, only an instrumental version was used for the movie, and like the movie, pretty forgettable.

However, a few months later, Percy Faith wrote a new instrumental arrangement for his orchestra and recorded a cover in late 1959. The song again was not an immediate success, entering the bottom of the Billboard chart in December of 1959.

Stay with me, we’re getting to the good part!

The song grew in popularity and by February 22, 1960, it was the number one song in the country! And, it stayed there for NINE weeks, which means… it was the number one song in the country on the day I was born—March 1, 1960! How cool is that?  😀

Theme from A Summer Place won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1961 making it the first movie theme and the first instrumental to win a Record of the Year Grammy.

Faith re-recorded the song twice: first, in 1969, as a female choral version, then, in 1976, as a disco version titled Summer Place ’76.

In 2008, Faith’s original version was ranked at #18 on Billboard‘s top 100 songs during the first 50 years of the Hot 100 chart. The Billboard Book of Number One Hits called it “the most successful instrumental single of the rock era.”

FUN FACTS:

  • The Faith version reached #2 in the UK. It was also a #1 hit in Italy under the title Scandalo Al Sole.
  • Faith’s record would not be broken until 1977, when You Light Up My Life spent ten weeks at #1.
  • Other songs did break the record prior to the 1958 creation of the Billboard Hot 100 chart; The Beatles’ Hey Jude tied, but did not break, the nine-week record in 1968.
  • It remains the longest-running #1 instrumental in the history of the chart. Billboard ranked Faith’s version as the Number One song for 1960.
  • Theme From A Summer Place has been covered countless times, with and without the lyrics (included below).

You’d think a video of a sixty-year-old song wouldn’t be found on the Internet, right?

Wrong!

Audio and video have been edited and restored to the video of Percy Faith & his Orchestra playing Theme From a Summer Place.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

~~~~~

 

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
 Theme frOm A Summer Place
by Percy Faith & his Orchestra
Songwriters: Mack Discant, Max Steiner
There’s a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I’m safe and warm
For within that summer place
Your arms reach out to me
And my heart is free from all care
For it knows
There are no gloomy skies
When seen through the eyes
Of those who are blessed with love
And the sweet secret of
A summer place
Is that it’s anywhere
When two people share
All their hopes
All their dreams
All their love
There’s a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I’m safe and warm
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms

 

#My52 “Captive Heart”

~~~

#My52 – Week 15

Word Prompt – sweat

Word Count – 1470

Reading Time – 5 mins, 4 secs

~~~

Mark Kelly arrived at Colton Contracting’s latest job site at four in the morning hoping to complete the job and end his day by noon. Two other firms before them were fired for shoddy work and missing deadlines, but Mark knew he had the best, and most experienced team in the city. However, hearing his crew foreman unleash a litany of expletives while staring at blueprints, Mark knew his day took a turn for the worse.

“What’s up, Dale?”

The foreman removed his hard hat and gestured toward the blueprints, his arms flailing.

“It’s all wrong. This shit is all wrong. No wonder those other assholes got fired. How did they get hired in the first damn place?”

Despite the bad situation brewing, Mark rolled his lips inward and hung his head, holding in a chuckle. Raising his head, he tried again.

“What exactly is the problem, Dale?”

He threw his hands up in air quotes. “The problem is those morons put these systems in backward. Any current running through here will fry this son-of-a-bitch like my wife’s overcooked pork chops.”

Mark laughed out loud this time, but his guffaws were cut short when Dale walked over and threw back the lid of one of the housing boxes.

“At least one of those moron firms already knew this to be true.”

Clenching his fists in anger, Mark approached the junction box… or what was left of it.

The large generator was a mass of melted components and burned wires. It was an eighty-thousand-dollar piece of equipment and one of ten.

After dozens of calls to his boss, the site owner, the site manager, and exchanging more than a few curse words with both fired electrical contractors, Mark sat in his vehicle thirteen hours later, ready to rip someone’s head off.

And the freeway was a parking lot.

A broken air conditioner meant he had no choice but to roast inside his Tahoe, drenched in sweat.

Not wanting to touch his precious house fund, he’d saved money from two paychecks for repairs, then gave the money to Yvonne for culinary classes… her latest bright idea.

In the four years they’d been a couple, Yvonne had opened a yoga studio, taken florist classes, real estate classes, and tried her hand as an Instagram fashion stylist… all paid for by Mark.

The ventures all ended before classes were completed or websites built because Yvonne got bored and moved on to the next big thing.

Mark was unperturbed. He loved his girlfriend and would do anything to make her happy, regardless of costs.

He leaned over and dug left-over takeout napkins from the glove compartment and scrubbed them down his face and across his neck.

The digital display over the rear-view mirror read one-hundred-seven degrees. Twenty degrees higher than the temperature outside his SUV.

Traffic inched forward six-feet and stopped again.

Mark gripped the steering wheel in frustration.

All he wanted was to get home, shower, drink a beer, then fall into a coma in his bed and life was conspiring against him. He and his crew solved the bulk of the problem, but tomorrow would be a day of getting it all down on paper for the lawsuits sure to be filed.

His cellphone chimed and a quick glance showed Yvonne’s name on the display.

He always took her calls but at this moment, he wasn’t in the mood. He’d make it up to her later.

Yvonne Bellgoode was his dream girl, and he’d loved her since junior high school. Mark didn’t mind she never acknowledged his existence until he returned from college thirty pounds lighter and with an electrical engineering degree. He at last felt worthy of the brown-skinned beauty.

He’d spent five years trying to win her over, but it wasn’t until Carl Peete, Yvonne’s high school sweetheart, went to prison for drug distribution—and Mark received a promotion and significant salary increase from Colton Contracting—that he got his chance.

His cell sounded again with Yvonne’s name on the display and he ignored it… again.

Honking car horns brought his attention back to the road, and he pulled forward another six feet.

His phone beeped, signaling Yvonne left a voicemail this time. Against his better judgment, he played the message.

“Mark, where are you? Why aren’t you answering your phone? This is important.”

He grimaced. Everything was always important with Yvonne.

“Mommy and Daddy were so happy to hear about me going to culinary school, they drove up to help me celebrate. Isn’t that wonderful? I called Toma’s and ordered charcuterie trays and two bottles of Dom. Be a sweetie and stop by and pick the order up. After the appetizers, I’ve made reservations for us at Luminarias for eight. And wear your black suit, not the blue one. I hate those narrow lapels. See you soon.”

He fumed, increasing the sweat pouring from his bulky frame.

Toma’s. The most expensive food shop in Burbank. Two bottles of Dom Perignon alone was three hundred dollars, and the trays were almost a hundred each. Dinner for two was three hundred dollars at Luminarias, so before this day ended, he’d spend close to a thousand dollars for a celebration planned without his input when all he wanted to do was go home.

The throbbing in his head increased, guilt trying to worm its way in.

He loved Yvonne and would do anything for her, but it wasn’t lost on him their relationship was growing more one-sided. His older brother, Prentiss, had said the words just last weekend as they watched basketball playoffs.

“Was that your phone?”

Mark slipped his cell under the sofa cushion. “No, I’m good.”

“It was too. It’s her again, isn’t it?”

Pushing his phone deeper into the sofa, Mark shook his head.

“Don’t even try it. It was her. Call number six in less than two hours.”

“Prentiss-”

He held up his hand, cutting Mark off, and muted the television.

“Hey! Virginia’s winning.”

“I hate Virginia.” Prentiss tossed the remote aside and considered his brother.

“Look, man. We don’t step on each other’s toes. Private business is just that, private.” He leaned closer. “But, Markie, this isn’t normal. She called twenty minutes after you walked in the door asking if the game was over because she wanted to go shopping. Twenty-six minutes after that she wanted to go to dinner.’

Mark waved him off, chuckling. “You know females have no clue about sports. She just misses me.”

“Not true. I know women who know more about sports than I do. And Yvonne well knows of how long a basketball game lasts.”

Mark threw up his hands. “Okay, she knows. What’s your point?”

“She’s selfish.”

“Oh, wait a damn minute-”

“You asked.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t expect you to diss my woman.”

“Calm down, little brother. I just call ‘em like I see ‘em.”

“And how is this your business? What happened to the private part?”

Prentiss Kelly walked over to the mini-bar, grabbed two beers and tossed one to Mark.

“Are you happy with Yvonne?”

Dragging his hand through his dreads, Mark was incredulous. “What kind of question is that? I’m happy. Yvonne is my dream girl.”

Re-taking his seat, Prentiss smirked.

“Yeah, man, I know. Everyone knows. You’ve mooned around behind her since we were kids and she didn’t even know you were alive.”

“Who could blame her? I was a pudgy, science geek.”

“You had at least half a dozen girls trying to get your attention.”

“But they weren’t Yvonne.”

“So? They were smart. Ambitious. Pretty… and nice. They weren’t mean girls like Yvonne.”

“She wasn’t a mean girl, just outspoken, and none of them were even in the same class as her.”

“No, they weren’t—and they still aren’t. Teresa Banks is a full partner in the Beckes law firm. You know them right? The city’s attorneys? Lily Townes owns one of the largest event-planning businesses in the state. About Towne handled the birthday party for the governor’s wife last month. And Cynthia Rivers’ name is moving up on the top local pediatric cardiologists’ list. Successful women. And Yvonne?”

He swigged his beer. “What’s the latest career you poured money into for her?”

Slamming his beer down, Mark leaped to his feet. “You don’t know a damn thing about what Yvonne and I have.”

Prentiss was unmoved. “Chill and sit down, dude.”

Instead, Mark paced around the sofa, his jaws tight with anger.

“Fine. Have it your way.” Prentiss leaned forward, resting his arms on his thighs. “I know you believe I don’t like Yvonne, but that’s not the issue.”

Mark whirled around, glaring at his brother. “Then what is? Why are you so concerned with my private business?”

Prentiss’ expression was stern. “Because I don’t enjoy seeing my brother get used like an ATM.”

To be continued…

~~~

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©2019 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Coldest Day of My Life” – The Chi-Lites

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “Freeze/Cold/Ice.”

 ~~~~~

A Lonely Man is the fourth studio album by The Chi-Lites.  Released in April of 1972, it was also the group’s most successful album, topping the R&B chart and peaking at No. 5 on the pop chart. It is frequently cited as the group’s best recording. AllMusic reviewer Craig Lytle describes the album as “flawless” and “exquisite”

The album opened with The Chi-Lites’ most successful single, Oh Girl, and ended with the eight-and-a-half-minute epic, Coldest Day of My Life.

FUN FACTS:

  • The group was formed at the Hyde Park High School in Chicago in the late 1950s as the “Chanteurs”. The original members were Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, and Clarence Johnson. This quartet introduced themselves at the Hyde Park High School “Senior Varieties talent show. They later recruited Marshall Thompson and Creadel “Red” Jones from the Desideros to form the Hi-lites. Noting that the name Hi-lites was already in use and wanting to honor their home town they changed their name to “The Chi-Lites” in 1964.
  • The Chi-Lites scored eleven Top Ten R&B hits from 1969 to 1974. They also charted 21 songs in the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Chart, and had chart hits in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada, as well as in the U.S.
  • Eugene Record wrote or co-wrote (often with singer Barbara Acklin) a long series of hits for the group, including million-sellers, Have You Seen Her and Oh Girl.
  • 76-year old Marshall Thompson is the last living original group member.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

~~~~~

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
 coldest day of my life
by The Chi-Lites
Songwriters:

 

I remember, oh yeah
The signs of springtime
There were birds, music
Everywhere, everywhere

Some of us played, oh yeah
And some of us cried
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see
The tears in my eyes?

And what I had dreamed of, oh Lord
I thought it was here
10 feet tall, oh, I was riding so high
With eyes of a child, oh
Shining so bright, yes they were

Coldest days of my life
They were the coldest days of my life
I had to run for cover, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Cold, coldest days of my life
I thought there was no other, no, no, no, no

Lord, take away the pain
Oh, You know, You know
That it falls like rain
And it couldn’t be much worse

Down below, down below, down below
Low, down below
It just couldn’t be much worse
Down below
It just couldn’t be that bad

#My52 “… and so shall it end”

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~~~

#My52 – Week 14

Word Prompt – lizard

Word Count – Drabble – 100

~~~

He looked peaceful.

It had been a traumatic day for them both, but more so for him.

During a lucid moment, they’d giggled about their trip to Arizona and the lizard who found his way into their SUV.

He always could make her laugh at their darkest moments.

A nurse appeared in the doorway.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but it’s time.”

She took his left hand into both of hers and kissed the wedding band she’d placed on his finger nineteen years ago, then turned and left the room without looking back.

She wished he could make her laugh right now.

~~~

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©2019 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

 

Song Lyric Sunday | “Serpentine Fire” – Earth, Wind & Fire

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “Burn/Fire/Flame.”

 ~~~~~
Two in a row for EWF!

However, most of us know Serpentine Fire as simply a great dance song and an Earth, Wind, & Fire classic!

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

~~~~~

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
 Serpentine Fire
by Earth, Wind & Fire
Songwriters:

 

When I see your face
Like a mornin’ sun
You spark me to shine

Tell all the world
My need is fulfilled
And that’s a new design

As long as you’re near
There is no fear
Of a victory
All right

But when I’m away
Influences stray
My mind to disagree

I wanna see your face
In a morning sun
Ignite my energy, ow

The cause and effect of you
Has brought new meaning
In my life to me

Gonna tell the story o’
Morning glory
All about the serpentine fire

Gonna tell the story o’
Morning glory
All about the serpentine fire

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

I need to see your face
Like a morning sun
Ignite my energy, huh

The cause and effect of you
Has brought new meaning
In my life to me

The moments I find
When I’m inclined
To do my best, oh

The negative wins
When I give in and
Then I lose the test
(Not many times)

Gonna tell the story o’
Morning glory
All about the serpentine fire

Surely as life begun
You will as one
Battle with the serpentine fire

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

Surely as life begun
You will as one
Battle with the serpentine fire

Surely as life begun
You will as one
Battle with the serpentine fire

Gonna tell the story o’
Morning glory
All about the serpentine fire

Gonna tell the story o’
Morning glory
All about the serpentine fire

 

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You've reached the Creative Space of Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse. Welcome. For info on my writing, services, and more, scroll down. If you need to contact me directly, email jhohadli (at) gmail.com. Sharing with links and credits is fine but unauthorized use and/or duplication of site content without permission is strictly prohibited. For my other blog, go to wadadlipen.wordpress.com